Isolating Back of Tongue Elevation for K, G, and Y

Posted by Debra C. Lowsky, MS, CCC-SLP on 17th May 2016

For the K, G, and Y sounds, the back of the tongue elevates to the palate.  One of my favorite "tricks" to assist back of tongue elevation is to use the Z-Vibe with the Hard Spoon Tip.

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Isolating Back of Tongue Elevation for K, G, and Y

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Place the bowl of the Spoon Tip on the tip of the tongue, and then have the child say the sound (as demonstrated in the video below).  By holding down the tip of the tongue with a tactile cue, you make sure that only the back of the tongue will be able to elevate.  Oftentimes children will have trouble distinguishing between using their tongue tip for /t/d/n/l/ versus the back of the tongue for /k/g/y/.  So this is one way that you can isolate the back of the tongue movement for the /k/g/y/ sounds.

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Remember to explain to the child what you're about to do and why.  It can work wonders to help them feel more comfortable, understand what's going on, and have a more productive session.  If necessary, I demonstrate the exercise/skill on a puppet, on my hand (my hand being the "tongue"), and/or on myself.

Why a Spoon Tip?  Even though the Spoon tip is traditionally used in feeding therapy, it's also "just the right size" to hold down the tongue tip for this articulation exercise - big/wide enough without being too big.

For more Z-Vibe exercise ideas, click here.

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All my best,

Debbie

Debra C. Lowsky, MS, CCC-SLP

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